11/30/2014 1:12PM

Epiphaneia prevails in Japan Cup


Epiphaneia, the winner of the Grade 1 Japanese St. Leger in 2013, salvaged an otherwise-quiet 2014 campaign with a four-length win in Sunday’s $4.4 million Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse.

Ridden by Christophe Soumillon, Epiphaneia (7-1) sweated noticeably before the start and was hard to hold in the first half of the race over 1 1/2 miles, racing in third behind pacesetter Satona Shuren. But Soumillon was able to coax a patient race from Epiphaneia, who took the lead in early stretch and quickly pulled away.

Just a Way, the winner of the $5 million Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai in March, finished second, a half-length in front of Spielberg. Gentildonna, the winner of the Japan Cup in 2012 and 2013, finished fourth as the 5-2 favorite, beaten 5 1/4 lengths.

Up With the Birds, the winner of the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes at Woodbine in July, finished 16th in a field of 18, never reaching contention. The race was marred by a fatal injury suffered by Trading Leather, the winner of the 2013 Irish Derby.

A 4-year-old colt, Epiphaneia is by Symboli Kris S and is out of Cesario, the winner of the American Oaks at Hollywood Park in 2005. Katsuhiko Sumii trained Cesario and is the trainer of Epiphaneia, who races for U Carrot Farm.

A winner of 6 of 12 starts, Epiphaneia had struggled in important races this year. He was fourth in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong in April and sixth in the Grade 1 Tenno Sho at Tokyo Racecourse on Nov. 2.

Sumii said after the Japan Cup that Epiphaneia will be pointed for the $3,507,292 Arima Kinen Stakes over 1 9/16 miles at Nakayama Racecourse on Dec. 28.